By JUSTIN FERGUSON
While Paris Saint-Germain celebrated a 50th-minute goal from Javier Pastore, Lionel Messi began to warm up on the sideline at the Nou Camp.
Even with a hamstring injury that kept him from starting the match, Messi played a part in the equalizer that punched Barcelona’s sixth straight ticket to the UEFA Champions League semifinals.
Barcelona advanced past PSG on away goals Wednesday after a thrilling match that ended 1-1. The Catalans, who drew with PSG 2-2 at the Parc de Princes last week, tilted the series back in their favor with a 71st-minute equalizer from Pedro.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich got their second straight 2-0 win over defending Serie A champions Juventus. The newly crowned Bundesliga champions controlled their Italian hosts in every aspect of the match on Wednesday as they continued their dominating run through all of their competitions.
Although the Messi-less Barcelona offense dominated the possession battle and shot the ball more in the first half of their match, PSG looked like the more dangerous team from the beginning. The visitors forced Victor Valdes to make seven saves in the match. Ezequiel Lavezzi, Lucas Moura and Zlatan Ibrahimovic each had quality looks at grabbing the lead in the first half, but Valdes was able to keep them out for the first 45 minutes.
But the longtime Barcelona goalkeeper was unable to deny Javier Pastore shortly after the second half began. Pastore received a well-placed pass from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and slotted the ball past a diving Valdes for the goal.
Messi came on in the 62nd minute for Barcelona’s replacement number nine, Cesc Fabregas, to the delight of the home crowd. His pass to David Villa nine minutes later set up the series-clinching goal, a vicious top-corner strike from Pedro.
As Messi was making his way onto the field in Barcelona, Bayern Munich were ensuring their place in the semifinals.
After an hour of keeping Juventus from cutting into their 2-0 lead from the first leg, Bayern grabbed an away goal off of a Mario Mandzukic header. Gianluigi Buffon got a hand on a Javier Martinez volley off of Bastian Schweinsteiger’s free kick, but the veteran Juventus goalkeeper could do nothing about Mandzukic’s rebound.
Claudio Pizarro capped off another convincing victory for the newly crowned German champions in stoppage time with a close-range strike. Bayern have now compiled 11 straight road wins across all competitions, a streak that goes back to November’s 1-1 group stage draw at Valencia.
Here are the match highlights:
BARCELONA 1, PARIS ST. GERMAIN 1
JUVENTUS 0, BAYERN MUNICH 2